So good to be part of the 14 member strong NGO Coalition for the Protection of Children. We are seeing changes little by little, to legislation, to protocols, to practice and to attitudes. The Culture is changing from Cover-up to Protection. This is all about being salt and light in society. Please see below our latest Press Release
The NGO Coalition for the Protection of Children and Youth calls for the adoption of the amendments to the Sexual Offences Act, Mandatory Reporting and the immediate suspension of anyone in a responsible position charged with sexual abuse or assault.
The NGO Coalition takes the view that all abused children deserve to be supported and protected by everyone in society. Their pain and hurt is unimaginable and often invisible, it is wrong when they are subjected to blame, insult and victimization.
The NGO Coalition will continue to emphasize that there is NO EXCUSE for abuse, exploitation, incest or any sort of sexual contact between adults and children. The age of consent for girls and boys in Dominica is sixteen. Sexual contact without consent is a crime. Therefore no person should have any form of sexual contact with a child under sixteen at all. A person committing this criminal act, irrespective of social status, sexual orientation, race or political affiliation should be reported, arrested and sentenced according to Dominica`s laws.
We are still waiting for the recommended amendments to the Sexual Offences Act to be adopted as promised. This should result in stiffer sentencing for those convicted of rape, especially for those who are found guilty of abusing children or those using violence.
We call on all agencies, private, government or non-governmental organizations to follow our lead and adopt a policy of mandatory reporting. This means that anyone who knows that a child is being abused and does not report it, can face serious consequences.
We also strongly recommend the implementing of an ethical code of practice whereby any employee, team member or volunteer arrested for any offence, is suspended from duty until such time as the case is determined. This is already the case with teachers and police officers and should be introduced as the expected procedure for all those in positions of authority or in contact with children.
Sexual abuse includes; unlawful intercourse, both vaginal and anal (buggery), oral sex, touching of the genitals, even through clothing, for the purpose of sexual stimulation, photographing minors naked, grooming (seducing the child for the purpose of later introducing sexual behaviour), sending explicit video material and sexting.
We call on ALL leaders in society to support this cause and to encourage victims to be brave in reporting all sexual crimes making an unequivocal statement regarding the unacceptability of this sexual abuse of minors. Real men and women do not abuse children and we should stand firm together supporting the survivors.
We are all custodians of the children and it is our duty to reassure them through words and deeds and to do our best to guarantee their protection at all times. We stand in solidarity with them in hope for a life free from all forms of violence.
Current Membership of the NGO Coalition is as follows:
Lifeline Ministries Dominica
3 Munro Street
Goodwill / Roseau
Commonwealth of Dominica
Tina Alexander, Director
Tina Cell: 767-235-8367 (also What's App)
Office Cell: 767-275-8367